It's been a year since Panasonic first punched the tough-camera market right in the face with the release of its ruggedised Lumix DMC-FT1. Crave has spent the time getting fatter and hairier, but the FT1 has been undergoing a rigorous training montage in a bid to make itself even more of a well 'ard nutjob than it was before. The result is the Lumix DMC-FT2.
We mocked the FT1 for being something of a lettuce compared to the Olympus mju Tough-8000, but the FT2 makes for a more even match in the toughness stakes. The FT2 is shockproof from a height of 2m (the FT1 could withstand drops of 1.5m), waterproof to 10m (as opposed to the FT1's 3m) and freezeproof to -10C (like the FT1). It's also impervious to that most heinous of foes -- dust.
The FT1 surpassed the Tough-8000 in terms of image quality, and the FT2 promises to improve on it further, thanks to Panasonic's new 'Intelligent Resolution' image-processing technology and a higher, 14.1-megapixel resolution. It also offers optical image stabilisation that's apparently twice as effective as its predecessor's -- perfect for when you want a shake-free recording of your next fight with a polar bear.
Like its predecessor, the FT2 sports a 28mm wide-angle lens with a 4.6x zoom, and can record high-definition movies in the annoying AVCHD Lite or Motion JPEG formats at a 1,280x720-pixel, high-definition resolution. You can play back footage of attacking yetis on its 69mm (2.7-inch), scratch-resistant LCD display. Unlike the FT1, the FT2 can record not just to SD and SDHC cards but also to super-high-capacity SDXC cards.
The FT2 will be available in a psychopathic orange, murderous blue or steroid-riddled urine yellow from March, for a currently undisclosed price. We'll put it in a straightjacket and dispatch it to one of our crack team of camera reviewers as soon as we get our battle-scarred hands on one, so keep your peepers peeled for a full appraisal.